Succession planning is a crucial aspect of any organization, and the real estate industry is no exception. It is no secret that there is a significant talent gap in the industry with aging boomers who have experience and the up and coming leaders that have not yet had chances to be tested. Those new leaders will bring fresh ideas and renewed energy to your organization, if you nurture them. The BATON framework can help real estate organizations ensure that they have a smooth transition of leadership, and that their business continues to thrive for years to come.

Believe – You truly have a successor

The first step in any successful succession plan is to believe that you have a potential successor(s) within your organization. This means identifying employees who have the potential to take on leadership roles and ensuring they have the necessary skills and experience to succeed. This process can be challenging, but it’s important to invest time and resources in identifying potential successors early on. By doing so, you can ensure that you have a pool of talented individuals who can step up when the time comes. Ideally, before you hire any employee, you consider their potential to take over leadership of the organization in the future. 

Activate Plan – Training, Goals, Accountability

Once you have identified potential successors, it’s important to activate your succession plan by providing training, setting goals, and setting up accountability processes and regular check-ins. This means investing in leadership development programs, providing regular feedback and coaching, and setting clear expectations for performance. As CEO, you need to make sure you are making time with people, not just projects and meetings. It should be obvious to your successors that you are grooming them and that you are committed to investing in their growth. By doing so, you can help your potential successors develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in leadership roles.

Training – Time, Tracking, Attention

Training is a critical part of any succession plan, and it’s important to invest time, tracking, and attention in this process. This means providing formal training programs, on-the-job training, and mentoring opportunities. It also means tracking the progress of your potential successors and providing feedback along the way. By investing in training, you can ensure that your potential successors are prepared to take on leadership roles when the time comes. Probe their interests and provide training that gives them the knowledge and skills they need to expand their responsibilities over time. 

Outside Exposure – Board, Industry, Peer Groups

Many organizations fall down on this one. The CEO attends events and leaves their high potential successors home. They don’t give their emerging leaders an opportunity to get in front of the board, industry and subscribers as much as they could. Outside exposure a key aspect of succession planning.This means providing opportunities for your potential successors to network with industry leaders, participate in peer groups, and engage with the broader real estate community. It also means giving them exposure to your organization’s Board of Directors, Committee/Taskforce Chairs and other key stakeholders. This is important so that the Board of Directors will have confidence in the new leader when the time comes for them to step up. It also gives your potential successors a broader perspective on the industry and the opportunity to gain valuable insights from others.

New Leader – Test, Coach, Inspire, Push, Hand-off

Finally, when the time comes to transition to a new leader, it’s important to test, coach, inspire, push your successors before you hand them the baton. You need to give your potential successor(s) opportunities to lead projects and teams, coaching them through the process, inspiring them to take on new challenges, pushing them to excel, and ultimately, handing off the leadership role to them. By doing so, you can ensure a smooth transition and set your organization up for success under new leadership.

Succession planning is a critical aspect of any real estate organization’s long-term success. By following the BATON framework, organizations can ensure that they have a pool of talented potential successors, provide them with the training and exposure they need to succeed, and ultimately, transition to new leadership with confidence. By investing in succession planning today, real estate organizations can ensure that they are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. 

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